Bittersweet: Legacies of Slavery & Abolition in Manchester

Aphra Behn (1640-1689), was an author, playwright, translator and spy whose 1688 work 'Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave' tells the story of an African prince forced into slavery in the Caribbean and his subsequent rebellion. Considered one of the first English novelists, Behn influenced many who followed her to rewrite and republish this tale (including The Portico Library's first Chairman John Ferriar), and was celebrated by Virginia Woolf as a trailblazer for modern feminism. To accompany 'Bittersweet: Legacies of Slavery & Abolition in Manchester', the library has purchased a 1953 edition of 'The Royal Slave' illustrated by Iris Francis and published by The Folio Society, which will be added to the permanent collection to sit alongside its own 1793 copy, adapted for the stage by Thomas Southerne.